Monday, March 4, 2013

Alpaca Farm-Life (almost): Musings on the Simple Life

“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” Marilyn Monroe

OK. Muck boots.

Mine are red-plaid knee-highs, and now sit at the barn-door of the dream farm my husband and I bought last October. We’ve spent the past three months organizing the new household, readying our former home for sale, and planning for the highly-anticipated Spring day when we can finally bring our beloved alpacas home.

So far, our move has been a wonderful life-decision. We both feel energized by the change, excited to be creating a brand new chapter that, we hope, will keep us young and provide us with a modest income. Our new home is lovely: a rambling 1798 antique cape, connected to a big, well-preserved barn, circa 1884. As I sit at my kitchen table working on my computer I can look south to the valley, rolling snow clouds in the distance, and beyond the horizon, eleven miles to the east, the cold blue Altantic churns. Three fenced pastures, sloping up Bauneg Beg Mountain and covered now with two feet of snow, comprise my view to the north.

I pinch myself several times a day to make sure that I am really awake. This dream farm has been a long time coming.

I fell in love the first time my husband spoke to me; his line was awkward, but direct, “Does it bother you to look so Irish?” I fell in love the first time I saw an alpaca, too, although I am sure my Dearest would not appreciate the comparison. But it was a similar thunderbolt-kind-of-feeling that I had the first time I drove across the Piscataqua Bridge, entering into the state of Maine. Somehow, all felt like “home” to me. It wasn’t long before I purchased the first alpaca that touched my heart, the winsome Hester, and we found a little cottage community in Wells, Maine, where we have spent the last several Summers.

We also spent the last Summers – five to be exact – assessing every property that had a barn and five acres in York County. Three years ago, we looked at our current home and barn, and decided it was a bit too much of a fixer-upper. But the interim owners tackled many of the things we found objectionable -- adding a new roof and furnace, new septic and appliances – before they were transferred to a job and location not commute-able from this perfect hillside. So – we made the offer, crossed our fingers and toes, and hoped for a positive response. Yes! They accepted!

And here we are, already in the month of March. Soon the snows will melt and the ground will be soft enough to drive new fence posts. By May when I look to the north, I should see our alpacas grazing. Wow. It took a leap of faith to leave our home and friends in Massachusetts and come to this place, and I don’t know what the future will bring. – Be assured, though, that I will keep you posted on unfolding events and little happenings. In the meantime, if you are contemplating a change – take the leap and give it your all!

Things may not turn out as expected. They may be even better.